The Mobile Pixels Duex Plus, on paper, is everything I have ever wanted from a second monitor. If you are like me, you spend a lot of time on the go, with your laptop as your trusty companion. It is great for writing or many other tasks, but sometimes you need the power of a second screen. This is where the promise of a clip-on screen that can just pull out comes into the picture. It keeps the portability while giving a new, more expansive way to work. This is why I was excited to sit down with the Mobile Pixels Duex Plus, but sadly, some issues hold it back from being a new must-have road warrior solution.
Mobile Pixels Duex Plus costs $299, pricing it at the midway point of this sort of device, and that is far more than many other standard portable screens you can buy, even if they don’t just pull out. For that cost you get the screen, all the needed cables to hook everything up, and the magnets that let it pull off when you don’t want the extra bulk.
This brings us to my biggest issue with the Mobile Pixels Duex Plus: how it hooks onto your laptop. I love my laptop looking as slick and clean as possible, free of any stickers, attachments or extra bulk, but the Mobile Pixels Duex Plus needs you to stick magnets to the top of your laptop. The case has four round magnets that attach to the back of your laptop display and hold it in place. The screen slides out of the rear casing to the side of your notebook display, making it easy to access your computer.
The Duex Plus is a bit like a transformer, giving you plenty of ways to adjust it to suit your needs. You can change the angle of the screen to get a better view, and it’s easy to slide in and out of its casing. But you don’t get any other adjustments, like tilt or swivel movement. It is honestly innovative to the level of versatility it provides, even the ability to flip the screen around so someone can see a presentation or game is a nice touch that I feel could be incredibly useful depending on your field of work.
You can use the case as a stand and prop the panel in portrait mode, but only if you remove the device from your laptop. If you want to use the display externally in landscape mode, you’ll have to buy a laptop stand or something similar. This is markedly different from stand-alone solutions but still manages to be incredibly versatile, even with the limitations of the design.
“The Duex Plus is a bit like a transformer, giving you plenty of ways to adjust it to suit your needs.”
The exterior of the Duex isn’t anything to write home about and left me feeling disappointed, especially when placed on a laptop. The casing is made from cheap plastic that feels flimsy and makes a lot of noise when you move it around. The display has huge borders, and attaching the Duex to your laptop makes it even thicker and heavier (0.25in & 700g). Those are both pretty minor issues, but worth keeping in mind if you’re trying to save space or weight.
The Duex Plus is a clever idea that I wanted to like, and sadly, it just doesn’t work as well as it could. The screen is tricky to install, and the sticky pads used to attach the screen to the laptop won’t work properly on some laptops. Depending on the material your laptop is made from, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise, although all the laptops at the CGM Offices could use it, even if it did look silly at times depending on the shape or design of the unit we tested the Duex Plus with. Thankfully the Duex Plus does come with extra pads for installation in the box, with twelve in the box ready to go when you first open the screen.
The Duex Plus has two USB-C ports on the right-hand side. One of these ports can carry a DisplayPort signal, meaning you can connect two devices to the Duex at the same time. The USB-C cable that comes with the Duex has an adapter that allows you to plug it into a full-size USB socket. However, because the ports are located on the side of the display facing outwards, the cable extends quite far from your laptop, which can make your desk look cluttered and messy.
The Mobile Pixels Duex Plus screen is a 13.3 inch 1920×1080 resolution IPS display that should be good enough for most people, giving extra room for apps, research or a movie while you work. I have seen better external options, and if you are on a Mac, the iPad can do the same basic thing, but for people just wanting extra space, the Mobile Pixels Duex Plus does very well, without the need for extra stands or desk space.
“The Mobile Pixels Duex Plus screen is a 13.3 inch 1920×1080 resolution IPS display that should be good enough for most people…”
With everything turned on, I was rather disappointed by the overall visuals the Duex Plus managed to deliver. While the screen does manage a pretty respectable contrast ratio of 1140:1, the max brightness of 171cd/m2 holds it back. Everything ends up feeling dull, lifeless, and lacking depth. It is even more noticeable if you pair the Duex Plus with a laptop with a vibrant screen. When testing it with a Huawei 14S 2021 laptop, the Duex Plus looked simply flat, with the laptop giving a stark reminder of just how much you are sacrificing to use this second screen. This will be less noticeable on other laptops, but the point still stands, the screen lacks the punch needed to enjoy anything beyond text or office use.
Testing some gaming and media, and the screen did a serviceable job, but never felt vibrant enough to make dark scenes pop or action feel lifelike or immersive. It serves its purpose, but for the $299 price tag, I was hoping for more than a serviceable screen that will be outlined by the screen it is paired with.
This brings up the next major issue, the Duex Plus only has a 60Hz refresh rate. This is perfectly fine for everyday tasks like browsing the web and working in office applications, but not for gaming. Anyone who wants to play the latest shooters or any eSports titles will find everything well below what you would expect and much lower than many external displays already on the market.
Photoshop and other creative tasks should be fine with the Duex Plus, but with the dim display, images will not be nearly as punchy as you could find elsewhere. While testing the display, I found it was great to have while writing, allowing research on one screen while I worked on the main screen; everything else felt like I was sacrificing quality just to find reasons to use the Duex Plus.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot I liked about the Duex Plus. Mobile Pixels have managed to bring a mostly portable screen that is easy to use and take advantage of while on the go. It is good enough for most tasks, and is easy to put in your bag when you want that extra level of productivity while on the go. But I always felt like I was compromising to use the Duex Plus.
That’s the biggest issue with the full package. While the Duex Plus works and technically does everything it sets out to do, it never feels as good as just using slightly more cumbersome options. There are a few people the Duex Plus makes sense and would be a great option. Sadly, for anyone looking for a solution to game, or just want a way to expand their creative juices while on the road, there are simply better solutions that won’t cost nearly as much.